Homosexuality Archives

Our Leaders: Stupid Crocodiles

Reflect a moment on the Olympics, the US and many Western leaders have decided “not to attend”, Google followed suit with a rainbow Olympic rings display, and publicly gay (privately … who knows) stuffed shirts were sent as part of the US delegation and many others. This was supposedly in response to how Russia is perceived to deal with public homosexuality.

Consider the following. Make an honest list of the top 10 economic, liberty, social, legal, and cultural issues facing the Russian people and the Russian Federation today. Order these by which have the highest priority and will do the greatest good. If you are honest (and I will charitably assume that is the case), gay rights did not appear on the list. Extend it to 20. Gosh. Still not there. In fact, I’d be willing to bet, if you put the time and effort it that gay rights might not even (if you are honest) make the top 100.

So …. why is that a putative issue for our leaders? Could it be because all politics is local and this is a safe way of pretending to do something about gay issues in their country without having to actually, you know, do anything about those issues? Crocodile tears all around.

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    The American Psychiatric Association has bowed to pressure again.

    A shocking announcement made by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in its latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders caused an uproar among pro-family organizations and many others, as the APA states it now classifies pedophilia as a sexual orientation or preference instead of a disorder.

    The APA is either becoming less about psychiatry and more about political correctness, or it’s too easily pushed around by interest groups. It’s classification of homosexuality as a “sexual orientation” gave a huge boost to mainstreaming of that behavior. Now what?

    Update: New information. The American Family Association was right, that “sexual orientation” was used referring to pedphila. However, the American Psychiatric Association now says that was a mistake.

    In response to media calls, including queries from Charisma News, the APA admitted there was an error in the DSM and announced plans to correct its manual to make it clear that it does not classify pedophilia as a sexual orientation.

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      Street Preaching = "Homophobic" Speech

      At least in London it apparently is.

      An American evangelist was arrested and jailed this week in London during the Wimbledon Championships while preaching about sexual immorality on the streets.

      Sports Fan Outreach International, led by Bill Adams, has been hosting an evangelistic effort in England over the past week to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with attendees of the annual Wimbledon tennis tournament. Approximately a dozen or more men and women are on the streets preaching, distributing tracts and engaging in one-on-one conversation with spectators.

      Tony Miano, a retired police officer who traveled to the UK with the team, states that he was preaching about sexual immorality from 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12 on Monday when a woman became agitated by his message and began to curse.

      “[I preached about] the fact that people are in sin and are violating God’s word and His law by engaging in immorality — both heterosexual immorality and homosexual immorality,” he explained.

      Since he had included homosexuality in his sermon, the woman, who had gone into a nearby store and came out to find Miano still speaking, called the police to complain.

      Moments later, officers arrived and notified Miano that he had allegedly violated Section 5 of the Public Order Act, which prohibits public language that is threatening or insulting.

      They’ve also redefined "homophobic" as "what Christianity has believed about homosexuality for millennia." Speech code are coming to a church near you.

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        Study Shows the Sun Rose Today

        (This is one of the segments of the most recent episode of my podcast, "Consider This!")

        The NY Times recently reported on a study that, I imagine, came as a shock to most of the Times’ readership. “News organizations are far more likely to present a supportive view of same-sex marriage than an antagonistic view, according to a content study by the Pew Research Center to be released on Monday.” The Pew study also noted that the views of the public at large, contrary to the news reporting, are evenly divided.

        For conservatives, this is like a study showing that the sun rose this morning, or the Pope is actually Catholic. But this paranoia about news coverage does, in fact, prove the adage that it’s not paranoia because, if you have the unapproved viewpoint, they really are out to get you.

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          Live and Let Live?

          (This is one of the segments of the most recent episode of my podcast, "Consider This!")

          From the state of Colorado comes this news story, showing just how intolerant this country has become.

          A neo-Nazi couple is pursuing a discrimination complaint against a Colorado bakery, saying the business refused them a Swastika wedding cake to honor their ceremony, and alleging that the owners have a history of turning away white-supremacist couples.

          Would you support the bakery in their refusal? Certainly, neo-Nazis don’t agree with our civil rights laws, so based on a civil rights objection, should a bakery be allowed to refuse to make a cake glorifying the Third Reich?

          As you may have guessed, I’ve modified this news story slightly to make a point. This is really a story about a same sex couple, from Massachusetts, suing a baker in Colorado. Religious freedom is the first of the freedoms guaranteed in the first amendment, even before speech. And yet folks exercising that freedom are not given the same deference as someone who might discriminate based on something that the Constitution doesn’t specifically protect.

          Could a baker refuse to decorate a cake with text featuring the N-word, or any other word that we usually identify by its first letter? If they could, what about the customer’s freedom of speech? Does it override the baker’s freedom? I don’t believe this would even be an issue, or if it was, the ACLU might even be on the side of a baker not wanting to display a Swastika or an obscene word on their product. As it is, the ACLU is supporting the out-of-state same-sex couple, because a religious objection doesn’t make the cut.

          Nor does it for a florist from Washington, nor a photographer from New Mexico. Same-sex marriage is not a case of “live and let live”. It requires others to validate it, regardless of any objection buttressed by the Constitution.

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            Can Boy Scouts Ban … Alcoholics?

            Here’s a report about the controversy a private club has found itself embroiled in.

            The Boy Scouts of America will get no reprieve from controversy after a contentious vote to accept alcoholic boys as Scouts.

            Dismayed conservatives are already looking at alternative youth groups as they predict a mass exodus from the BSA. Alcoholics-rights supporters vowed Friday to maintain pressure on the Scouts to end the still-in-place ban on alcoholic adults serving as leaders.

            "They’re not on our good list yet," said Paul Guequierre of the Human Rights Campaign, a national alcoholic -rights group. He said the HRC, in its annual rankings of corporate policies on workplace fairness, would deduct points from companies that donate to the Boy Scouts until the ban on alcoholic adults is lifted.

            Now, you may be wondering why you didn’t hear about this particular scandal, and the reason is it hasn’t happened. I just took a news article and replaced every mention of the word “gay” with the word “alcoholic”. All of a sudden, it sounds absolutely nuts, doesn’t it? Should the Scouts be allowed to discriminate against alcoholics? Set aside for the moment that the drinking age is such that it would exclude boys in the Scouts age range, would the Scouts come under fire for not allowing boys who are what you might call “practicing alcoholics” into its ranks? Would any human rights group fault them for having a ban on alcoholic adults as Scout leaders?

            The plain fact is, no, they wouldn’t. The official policy of the Boy Scouts of America is that alcohol is not permitted “at encampments or activities on property owned and/or operated by the Boy Scouts of America, or at any activity involving participation of youth members.” Certainly a troop leader showing up drunk wouldn’t be tolerated. They’ve made that rule, and no one (that I know of) is coming down on them for it.

            And yet the Human Rights Campaign and others have been pressuring the Scouts to set aside their ban on homosexual boys in Scouting. Why? Well, because they’re born that way, as our culture keeps reminding us, so to discriminate against them is unfair and bigoted, right? And yet, there is research that shows conclusively that alcoholism is, in part, genetic as well. In fact, there is more evidence of that than there is evidence of homosexuality having a genetic component. It’s being studied, but right now, nothing is at all conclusive, unlike the way the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism describe the genetic link.

            If they’re born that way, and if being born that way means no one can discriminate against that trait for any reason, well, is that a Pandora’s box you really want to open?

            At its core, the ban on gay Scouts was partly a moral stance, with the Scout Oath including a phrase about being morally straight. It was also partly an issue of general sexuality. Would you want your boy sharing tent with a girl? Or, more generally, with someone who may be sexually attracted to him? Consider this.

            And while the Scouts have lifted the ban on gay Scouts, they’ve kept it for Scout leaders. The HRC doesn’t like that, either. Let’s think about this. Those priests that got accused of molesting boys can now trade out their collar for a khaki shirt and become a Scoutmaster. What would the HRC think about that?

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              Overcoming Such Unanimity

              Ben DeBono is one of the co-hosts of a podcast I listen to, "The Sci-Fi Christian".  I have the distinction of having named their alien mascot, "Theo".

              Ben is a recent convert to Catholicism, while I am a  long-time Protestant. And yet there are commonalties that people tend to ignore too often. He highlighted one of those commonalities in a recent Facebook post.

              Here’s a thought experiment for Christians arguing for biblical support of homosexuality and/or homosexuall [sic] marriage:

              On the subject of homosexuality theologians as diverse as the Apostle Paul, Augustine, Aquinas, Martin Luther and every other major pre-20th century Christian thinker stand in complete agreement. Such unanimity is all but unprecedented in the tradition. Even a doctrine as fundamental as the Trinity has greater diversity of thought than homosexuality.

              Regardless of how you view the authority of tradition, doesn’t such complete agreement deserve to be acknowledged and taken seriously? If you say yes, how can you justify the near complete lack of engagement with the tradition by those arguing for an understanding of Christianity that is pro-homosexuality? Wouldn’t such a drastic change on this issue demand a lengthy and complete engagement with the tradition?

              If you say no, how do you justify the implicit claim that your interpretive abilities are superior to 2,000 years of unanimous teaching on this issue – Protestant, Catholic and otherwise?

              Ben shows that, over the millennia, smart Christian guys from all over the spectrum, have been unified on this topic. I made a similar point 2 years ago when I noted that the Bible speak of homosexuality 100% negatively, and of marriage 100% heterosexually. I said essentially the same thing, "Ignore all of that collected wisdom at your peril."

              The religious Left has been accepting homosexuality as a "non-sin" over the past 40 years, and same-sex marriage as blessed just for the past 10 years or so. Relatively speaking, however, this is nothing compared to the unanimity of the faith for the last 2,000 years. If one is going to throw out 2 millennia of doctrine, you had better have a good argument that a) this is really what the Bible says and b) the other guys were wrong. Yelling "Equality!" is not such an argument.

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                Jim Wallis "Evolves". Again.

                Just as our President supposedly "evolved" on the issue of same-sex marriage, Rev. Jim Wallis, head of the liberal Sojourners group, has done the same thing. After saying that marriage shouldn’t be redefined, now that the culture apparently want to change it, now he’s fine with it.

                Michael Brown, author and radio talk-show host, wrote an article for Charisma News that calls Wallis on the carpet for this change. (Emphasis his.)

                Rev. Wallis, you told us in 2008 that “the sacrament of marriage” should not be changed and that “marriage is all through the Bible, and it’s not gender-neutral.” Now, in 2013, you want to redefine marriage and make it gender-neutral. In doing so, you have betrayed the Word of God and the people of God.

                To be candid, sir, I’m not surprised by your theological flip-flop—just pained and distressed by it, since your name is still associated with evangelical Christianity in America and you are a prominent church leader.

                This is not just an issue of going against what Brown (and I) believes the Bible says, but it’s yet another case of Wallis saying one thing and doing another. Brown offers up many examples.

                In the past, you raised some valid criticisms about the “religious right” and its deep solidarity with the Republican Party, but then you joined yourself to the religious left and the Democratic Party, even campaigning for Democratic candidates. So much for taking a kingdom-of-God position that transcends partisan politics and challenges the political establishment.

                To be sure, you have rightly challenged us to consider the poor and the oppressed, pointing to the hundreds of Scriptures that call us to “social justice.” But then you have turned around and applauded Communist dictatorships that championed oppression and tyranny.

                When it comes to Christian integrity, you disappointed us when you received funding from pro-abortion, pro-atheism billionaire George Soros and when you allowed the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the world’s largest gay activist organization, to take out paid advertising in your Sojourners magazine, even though the HRC would love to silence all religious opposition to homosexual practice.

                It is true that in 2008, you expressed having “mixed feelings” about the HRC ads, stating that you “probably wouldn’t do it again.” But today, the HRC celebrates your defection from biblical values, announcing in headline news, “Leading Evangelical Christian Voice Announces Support For Marriage Equality.”

                Rev. Wallis, you have brought reproach to the name of Jesus, to the Word of God and to evangelical Christianity.

                But the height of the hypocrisy is that Wallis seems to be making his moral decisions based on the culture, not based on Christ.

                Worst of all, you have reversed your earlier position on what the Bible clearly says about marriage based largely on where “the country is going.”

                What? Jim Wallis, the critic of the religious establishment; Jim Wallis, the counter-cultural revolutionary; Jim Wallis, the advocate of a Jesus who changes the world rather than conforms to it. You, sir, are now willing to redefine one of the most foundational and sacred human institutions, the institution of marriage, based on where the country is going? Isn’t that the path to spiritual and moral suicide?

                Read the whole thing. (Hey, you’ve read most of it already.)

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                  Marriage "Equality"

                  Episode 36 of my podcast, "Consider This!", came out this morning. Here’s the (slightly edited) script for one of the segments regarding the call for "marriage equality".


                  When the Supreme Court took up two cases regarding same-sex marriage recently, Facebook lit up with red equal signs of people proclaiming their support for what they call “marriage equality”. And that’s how I’ve heard the debate framed by supporters for years, as an issue of equality. One group gets to do something that another group doesn’t. Where’s the sense of fairness, of everyone being equal under the law?

                  Well, to understand the underlying problem here, let’s take two other areas where one could demand equality. Let’s look at voting and driving. Are you for voting equality and driving equality? Should some voting or driving laws be different for different people, or not even available at all to some?

                  Let’s take a group of people I’ll call blind people. Now, should they have both voting and driving equality? I’m going to hazard a guess that you said yes to voting but no to driving. I don’t need to be a mind-reader to get that one right. But, but, equality! What about equality? Shouldn’t we really be taking to the streets and demanding the Supreme Court rule on driving equality for the blind?

                  No, of course we shouldn’t. But why equality for one thing and not another? Steven Smith, a Professor of Law at the University of San Diego, wrote an article using this example of why we treat the two situations differently.

                  That is because an ability to see is not a relevant qualification for voting, but it is a relevant qualification for driving. We know this, though, not by applying the idea of “equality,” but rather by thinking about the nature of voting and of driving. Probably there is no disagreement about these particular conclusions. But if you did happen to encounter a good-faith disagreement, you would not be saying anything helpful if you thumped the table and declared that “blind people should be treated equally.” You would only be begging the question.

                  You can’t drive if you’re blind, or under a certain age, or haven’t taken a driving test. Heck, you can’t vote if you’re a felon, or under a certain age, or mentally incompetent. So even with voting, there are inequalities. And therefore, just demanding marriage equality, without considering the nature of marriage, is useless.

                  And so what, then, is that nature of marriage? That’s the next logical question, and something I will be taking up in a subsequent episode. Until then, I have another link in the show notes to a rather lengthy paper by the Heritage Foundation on what marriage is, why it matters, and the consequences of redefining it. I’ll be pulling points from it for when I tackle this subject later on. You may want to take a look at it and perhaps write or call with your thoughts to be included in the episode.

                  But this foundation of the issue of equality needs to be laid first. Suffice to say, for now, that just spouting “Equality” with your fashionable, red equal sign doesn’t really mean much. It’s not an argument. It’s not a reason. It’s just a slogan.


                  If you want to let me know what you think, call 267-CALL-CT-0 (267-225-5280) for the feedback line, or e-mail considerthis@ctpodcasting.com.

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                    Friday Link Wrap-up

                    Hobby Lobby could be the next Chick-Fil-A. "Hobby Lobby Sues over HHS Mandate"

                    Reverend William Owens from the Coalition Of African American Pastors in an interview with John Hawkins: "Again that’s the reason I took such a stand against President Obama. In every election, in every campaign where the marriage amendment has been on the ballot, blacks in large numbers have been against it and Americans have been against it. But he’s not interested in what the people want. He’s interested in what a few people who can give him big money want."

                    I don’t usually link to Sojourner’s "God’s Politics" blog for good examples of political opinion, but their non-political item — a discussion on the recent "Gospel of Jesus’ Wife" discovery — is quite good. "Five Important Questions About That ‘Jesus Wife’ Discovery"

                    "Antarctic sea ice set another record this past week, with the most amount of ice ever recorded on day 256 of the calendar year (September 12 of this leap year)." I blame global warming.

                    UN Secretary General George Orwell Ban Ki Moon: "Freedoms of expression should be and must be guaranteed and protected, when they are used for common justice, common purpose," Ban told a news conference. "When some people use this freedom of expression to provoke or humiliate some others’ values and beliefs, then this cannot be protected in such a way."

                    Bullying works. "The Christian-rooted fast food restaurant [Chick-filA] agreed to stop funding groups such as Focus on the Family that oppose same-sex marriage in a meeting with the Chicago politician who had been blocking the company’s move there."

                    And finally, competing mottos (from Chuck Asay, click for a larger version):

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                      The Normalization of Pedophilia

                      In  my most recent episode of the "Consider This!" podcast, I discussed how polygamy is beginning to get mainstreamed, with major newspapers asking the question; why is 2 some magic number for marriage? Why not "three, four, or 17"?

                      The website Gawker is now giving press (and rather disturbing press, frankly; the beginning of the article is not for the squeamish) to guys like Dr. Hubert Van Gijseghem (pronounced HI-sheh-hem), who is retired from the University of Montreal, and who testified before the Canadian Parliament’s "Committee on Justice and Human Rights." In part, he said:

                      [I]t is a fact that real pedophiles account for only 20 percent of sexual abusers. If we know that pedophiles are not simply people who commit a small offence from time to time but rather are grappling with what is equivalent to a sexual orientation just like another individual may be grappling with heterosexuality or even homosexuality, and if we agree on the fact that true pedophiles have an exclusive preference for children, which is the same as having a sexual orientation, everyone knows that there is no such thing as real therapy. You cannot change this person’s sexual orientation.

                      And if they’re "born this way" (to steal from a Lady Gaga song title), who are we to judge? I’m not saying that some of the things done to pedophiles is justified (the harassment they receive), because we are to love the thief, the murderer and the pedophile as Christ would love them. I completely denounce harassment, but words mean things, and this is a big step in the cultural normalization process.

                      At the moment, there is still some sanity on the subject. One group in Germany attempting to counsel pedophiles uses the phrase, "You are not guilty because of your sexual desire, but you are responsible for your sexual behavior. There is help." This is true of all of us. We all have our weak points of temptation, but it’s how we act (and, as Jesus pointed out, how we fantasize) that is the problem.

                      However, consider how homosexuality was viewed just a generation ago and how it’s been so normalized that some states allow same-sex marriage. The biggest argument that the homosexual crowd put forth was that this was something in their genes, and therefore was nothing more than being left-handed or blue-eyed. If we consider pedophilia just another sexual orientation, then, while the act may still be frowned upon for the moment, the foundation has already been laid to normalize pedophilia.

                      Now, I know slippery slope arguments can be…well, slippery. They involve a bit of prediction. If A happens, B will happen next. It’s easy to dismiss these sorts of arguments are mere guesses. However, when initial predictions become true, and when you have so much history to look at and see that it has been indeed happening, it’s time to take the arguments more seriously. I am very supportive of efforts to counsel pedophiles before they act on their thoughts. However, the change in terminology can and does change the culture and the views. Whether or not Dr. Van Gijseghem means it to, this change can easily be taken up by others to slip us further down the slope to … well, who knows where.

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                        Traditional Marriage Upheld in Hawaii

                        An interesting reasoning that Judge Alan Kay used to uphold the law (emphasis mine).

                        HONOLULU (BP) — A federal court has refused to legalize gay marriage in Hawaii, ruling the issue is best addressed by the legislature and that the current law — which defines marriage as between a man and a woman — does not violate the U.S. Constitution.

                        The ruling by Judge Alan. C. Kay Wednesday (Aug. 8) broke a string of court losses by traditionalists on the subject of gay marriage.

                        At issue in Hawaii was a constitutional amendment passed by voters in 1998 giving the legislature the power to define marriage in the traditional sense, which legislators subsequently did.

                        A lesbian couple and a gay man filed suit in federal court last year against Hawaii officials, arguing the amendment and law violated the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the U.S. Constitution. But Kay, nominated by President Reagan, ruled the legislature had a rational interest defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

                        "Throughout history and societies, marriage has been connected with procreation and childrearing," Kay wrote in his 117-page decision. "… The legislature could rationally conclude that on a societal level, the institution of marriage acts to reinforce ‘the important legal and normative link between heterosexual intercourse and procreation on the one hand and family responsibilities on the other.’"

                        The legislature, Kay wrote, could "also rationally conclude that other things being equal, it is best for children to be raised by a parent of each sex."

                        "Both sides presented evidence on this issue and both sides pointed out flaws in their opponents’ evidence," he wrote of parenting. "Thus, the Court concludes this rationale is at least debatable and therefore sufficient."

                        The issue, Kay added, is up to the legislature.

                        He deferred to the legislature when the point was debatable. What’s very interesting about this is that it is essentially the reasoning Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts used to uphold ObamaCare; a decision that liberals hailed. While Roberts rewrote the law to make the individual mandate a tax (not something I agree he could or should do), he then concluded that it was within Congress’ power and deferred to them.

                        This is the very opposite of judicial activism, and what they’re supposed to do; judge the law and not redefine it.

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                          Got our last shot at a family summer vacation recently, which is why I’ve been quiet around here. Niagara Falls was wonderful. Thanks for asking. And actually it wasn’t the entire family. My son had marching band camp last week, so my wife stayed here with him for that. Band camp was so early because school starts so early; August 6! And there are some metro Atlanta schools starting this week, in July! Maybe they’re trying to ease us into year-round school.

                          Over vacation, something of a brouhaha got started around a statement by Chick-fil-a CEO Dan Cathy.

                          The company invests in Christian growth and ministry through its WinShape Foundation (WinShape.com). The name comes from the idea of shaping people to be winners.

                          It began as a college scholarship and expanded to a foster care program, an international ministry, and a conference and retreat center modeled after the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove.

                          "That morphed into a marriage program in conjunction with national marriage ministries," Cathy added.

                          Some have opposed the company’s support of the traditional family. "Well, guilty as charged," said Cathy when asked about the company’s position.

                          "We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.

                          "We operate as a family business … our restaurants are typically led by families; some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that," Cathy emphasized.

                          Combine this with previous statements and look at where the Cathy’s give money, and the worst-kept secret of Chick-fil-a was "exposed"; the Cathy’s are against same-sex marriage.

                          This prompted shock — SHOCK — among a group of big city mayors. Boston mayor Tom Menino:

                          “There’s no place for discrimination on Boston’s Freedom Trail,” Menino wrote to Cathy in a July 20 letter, “and no place for your company alongside it.”

                          Los Angeles mayor Edwin Lee:

                          “Closest #ChickFilA to San Francisco is 40 miles away,” tweeted San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee on July 26, “& I strongly recommend that they not try to come any closer.”

                          And Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel said something similar.

                          All this because the CEO of Chick-fil-a has the same position on same-sex marriage that President Obama had up until six months ago.

                          “I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian — for me — for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix.” – April 17, 2008, while running for president, defining marriage at the Saddleback Presidential Forum.

                          The previously link Washington Post story also has this addendum.

                          Since making their initial comments, Boston Mayor Tom Menino and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel have sought to clarify that they do not intend to use city resources to block Chick-fil-A’s permitting efforts on account of CEO Dan Cathy’s political or religious views. They stand by their comments, however, that the stores do not belong in their cities.

                          So no organization who’s CEO’s personal beliefs don’t line up with the mayor’s is not welcome. This from the "tolerance" brigade? Does anyone on the Left side of the aisle see the irony here?

                          And if it’s just about same-sex marriage, why this?

                          After supporting a call to block Chick-fil-A over the religious views of its management, the Chicago mayor welcomed an army of men dispatched to his streets by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, the Chicago Sun Times reported Wednesday.

                          Islam doesn’t permit same-sex marriage, either. In fact, in Islamic countries, homosexuals are killed. No (honest) Christian is suggesting that be done. If you accuse Christians of having a persecution complex, you must reconcile shunning a Christian-owned business over a widely held Christian belief with welcoming Muslims that have the exact same one.

                          And this just in: I hear that, in order to faithfully represent the values of Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago, Chick-fil-a will now start murdering people and selling meth. But maybe that’s just a rumor.

                          Finally, Mike Huckabee has organized a "buy-cott" of Chick-fil-a for tomorrow, August 1st. There’s an official Facebook event page for it that Huckabee started, as well as one that suggests taking a picture of the restaurant you go to in order to show how big the crowds are. I’ll see you there.

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                            Friday Link Wrap-up

                            “I would not have you exchange the gold of individual Christianity for the base metal of Christian Socialism.” – Charles Spurgeon. He had quite a bit to say on economic and political issues of the day, applicable to that day and this.

                            For those still blaming Bush for our economic situation, Paul Mirengoff reminds us that the housing  market collapse was the main cause of it, and the Bush administration tried to keep it from happening. Democrats would have none of that.

                            "The New York Police Department, the mayor and the city’s top prosecutors on Monday endorsed a proposal to decriminalize the open possession of small amounts of marijuana…." But the real scourge, Big Gulps, will not be tolerated.

                            A cautionary tale about hyper-partisanship.

                            Remember those advertisers that left the Limbaugh show after his remarks about Sandra Fluke? One big one tried to come crawling back, and Limbaugh just said No.

                            The Obama administration is against voter ID laws, but Michelle Obama herself required IDs to get a book signed. Irony. Meter. Pegging.

                            Austerity works, when it’s actually implemented. Just ask the European country who’s economy outpaced the average growth in the euro-zone by 500%, and has the only budget surplus there.

                            Obama actually was a member of a socialist political party while in Chicago. Stanley Kurtz of National Review has the documentation. Where was the mainstream media on this 4 years ago?

                            In case you heard otherwise, no, the Boy Scouts are not changing their policy on gay scouts and scout leaders.

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                              Further Erosion of Religious Rights

                              A restaurant owner can’t refuse to serve people based on their race or gender. It is considered a public business. But how about a photographer? Not just one with a studio open to the public, but one who you would hire to come out and photograph your wedding?

                              A New Mexico judge now says that they can no longer pick and choose which weddings they will work at.

                              ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A professional photographer who refused to take pictures of a gay couple’s commitment ceremony violated state anti-discrimination laws, the New Mexico Court of Appeals has ruled.

                              The court on Thursday agreed with a previous ruling, in which a district court judge said the photo studio is considered public, similar to a restaurant or store, and cannot refuse service based on sexual orientation, the Albuquerque Journal reported (http://bit.ly/JSAdE5 ). The photography studio had argued that its refusal was not an act of discrimination but a reflection of the owners’ religious and moral beliefs.

                              The state (New Mexico here, but all over the country) is trying to freeze out businesses that don’t toe the liberal line. Catholic adoption agencies who have the same religious objection, in many places, now have to either violate their principles or shut down to avoid lawsuits. Now we have photographers who have to do much the same thing. Sensing a trend here?

                              The Alliance Defense Fund, a Washington, D.C.-based legal alliance of Christian attorneys and others that represented the studio, plans to appeal. Elane Photography argued that it provided discretionary, unique and expressive services that aren’t a public accommodation under the Human Rights Act.

                              The studio asked hypothetically whether an African-American photographer would be required to photograph a Ku Klux Klan rally.

                              The court responded: “The Ku Klux Klan is not a protected class. Sexual orientation, however, is protected.”

                              So, you have human rights only if you’re one of the classes with special rights. Don’t we always hear how homosexuals just want equal rights, not special rights? Watch what they do, however. If you’re a Christian photographer, you can now be targeted, even if there is a photographer right next door who is more accommodating and doesn’t have the same moral qualms. This is fair?

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